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Should I wear a cloth mask in public?
It recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) to wear a cloth face covering when outside the home conducting essential activities such as going to work, to the grocery store, pharmacy, banking and enjoying outdoor activities while maintaining physical distancing.

Cloth masks are not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.

The best defense against COVID-19 is washing our hands frequently, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, avoiding being around sick people and physical distancing, especially by staying at home.

For more information see the WI DHS web page about masks and how to protect yourselves here.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
The Vernon County Health Department does not have testing supplies.

Call your doctor if you symptoms of COVID-19 and need medical care or think you are high risk for having a severe illness. Your doctor will determine whether or not you should be tested based on your symptoms, risk factors like travel or contact with others who are sick, and if you have underlying medical conditions. 

Due to current shortages in testing supplies, not everyone with symptoms will be tested. If your symptoms are mild and can be managed at home, your doctor might recommend that you stay home under self-isolations to prevent the spread to others.

When testing at our local health systems, be sure to CALL first.  Insurance will be billed and you might be responsible for some of the cost.

Vernon Memorial Hospital asks that, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, please call your nearest VMH location and make an appointment. Please describe for the staff the symptoms you are experiencing. 
Their web site is here:

Gundersen Health System asks that you call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at: (608) 775-4454
Their web site is here:

Mayo Health System asks that you call your local provider first. Your provider will direct you to the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Nurse Line.
Their web site is here:

Scenic Bluffs Health Center asks that you call the main line at: (608) 654-5100

Vernon County National Guard Free Testing Sites until August 2021
Can I get an antibody test for COVID-19?
Antibody testing is not readily available at this point. The majority of antibody tests are not FDA approved.
What is considered exposure to a positive case?
To be considered at risk you must have had direct prolonged contact with a lab confirmed case of COVID-19. Direct prolonged contact is defined as being closer than six feet to the person and in contact for longer than 10 minutes.
Why practice social distancing?
From the CDC web site:

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sun light and humidity. Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you have any of the following symptoms contact your primary care provider.
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Headache
- Loss of taste or smell
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Sore throat

Contact your health care provider to determine if you meet testing criteria.

More information is on our COVID information web page here.

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